The 2.6km circuit features 12 corners and a top speed of around 260 km/h, taking drivers along Wharf Road, Watt Street, and Shortland Esplanade, before threading its way to Camp Shortland.
Our reporter Stephen Mount is trackside with the first time champion.
Shane van Gisbergen has been handed a 25-second time penalty for a refueling breach in race one at the Newcastle 500.
The corrected results mean the Holden driver finished fifth in the 250km race.
If van Gisbergen goes onto win today’s race, McLaughlin will only need to finish sixth to claim his maiden championship.
The wind was down, and the crowd was up for day two of the Newcastle 500.
The first serious day of racing saw a grandstand finish, after supporters turned out early to secure the best vantage points.
Stephen Mount reports.
Scott McLaughlin has been forced to hand victory to Shane Van Gisbergen, in the first race of the Newcastle 500, after running dry on fuel in the final lap.
The Ford driver’s forced surrender to his Holden arch rival has set the scene for a final-day thriller.
The wild conditions didn’t deter race fans on Friday at the Newcastle 500, with thousands flooding through the gates.
They left well and truly revved up for the weekend, after lapping up the chance to mingle with drivers and even motorsport royalty.
On the track, Scott McLaughlin set the early pace, topping Friday’s second practice session.
The Ford driver battling fellow Kiwi, Shane Van Gisbergen, for the championship, setting the scene for a thrilling race tomorrow.
After fighting for a home-town drive, so far it’s paying off for Aaren Russell.
On Friday afternoon, he topped the timesheets on debut in the Superutes category.